23:40 GMT +314 October 2019
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    A man walks by election campaign billboards showing Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu, left, alongside the Blue and White party leaders, from left to right, Moshe Yaalon, Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid and Gabi Ashkenazi, in Tel Aviv, 7 Sunday 2019. Hebrew-language billboards read Strong Likud strong Israel (left) and  Every vote matters, win Blue and White (right). (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

    Centre for Ganz, South for Netanyahu: Polls Highlight Geographic Polarisation of Israeli Vote

    © AP Photo / Oded Balilty
    Middle East
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    Israelis went to the polls on 17 September for the second time this year to cast their ballots in a parliamentary election after the acting prime minster failed to form a government after the April vote. Preliminary results indicated a close tie between two competing parties - Netanyahu's Likud and the Blue and White alliance, led by Benny Ganz.

    Israel's right-wing party Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, is leading in the polls in the southern part of the country, while central Israel has voiced a preference for the centrist Blue and White alliance, the latest results indicate after more than 4 million votes were counted.

    The results show that 42.7% of voters in Tel-Aviv supported Blue and White, while Likud trailed behind with just 19%.

    On the contrary, in Jerusalem, the ruling party gained the support of 24.9% of voters, while the Blue and White bloc enjoyed only 11.4% of the votes.

    An man takes a selfie with his mobile phone as he casts his ballot in Israel's parliamentary election, at a polling station in Tel Aviv, Israel September 17, 2019
    © REUTERS / CORINNA KERN
    An man takes a selfie with his mobile phone as he casts his ballot in Israel's parliamentary election, at a polling station in Tel Aviv, Israel September 17, 2019

    Similarly, the southern city of Beersheba saw greater support for Likud, where it scored 43.4%, while almost half of the voters in the central Israeli town of Givatayim supported Ganz's bloc.

    The picture in the north of the country differed slightly with the Blue and White leading in big cities, while Netanyahu's party garnering votes in the periphery.

    Israel held a closely-fought parliamentary election on 17 September. This marked the second Knesset vote this year; the previous one was held in April.

    Back then, Netanyahu's ruling party failed to receive enough votes to form the government, as the vote saw Likud and Blue and White tied, each taking 35 of the 120 seats in the Knesset, which prompted the first snap elections in the country.

    Likud is a right-wing Israeli party chaired by the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party largely opposes a Palestinian state, advocates the annexation of West Bank settlements and supports the privatisation in the economy.

    Blue and White is a centrist political alliance led by Benny Ganz. It was established prior to the April vote to counter Netanyahu. The bloc is pushing for prime ministerial term limits, the amendment to the Nation-State law and relaunching of peace talks with the Palestinians.

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    Blue and White Party, Likud, Israel
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